Research Leadership

Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan

Executive Vice President, ASU Knowledge Enterprise
Chief Research and Innovation Officer
Director, Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC)
Foundation Chair in Computing and Informatics

Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan leads the Knowledge Enterprise at Arizona State University, which advances research, innovation, strategic partnerships, entrepreneurship and international development at ASU.

Under his leadership, ASU has quintupled research performance over the last decade — growing to over $600 million in 2018 — positioning it as one of the fastest-growing research universities in the United States. ASU has also been ranked as the most innovative university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for the last four years, ahead of Stanford and MIT.

In 2014, Panchanathan was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. National Science Board (NSB) for a six-year term. He is the first American of Indian origin to be appointed to the NSB. He served as Chair of the Committee on Strategy and currently serves on the External Engagement and National S&E Policy committees of NSB. Additionally, he was appointed by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). Dr. Panchanathan is Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Membership of the National Academy of Inventors. He is currently the Chair of the Council on Research (CoR) of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). He is also the Co-Chair of the Extreme Innovation Taskforce of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC). In October 2018, Panchanathan was appointed Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Senior Advisor for Science and Technology.

Panchanathan is a Fellow of the NAI, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE). He was the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Multimedia Magazine, and is also an editor or associate editor of several international journals and transactions.

Panchanathan’s research interests are in the areas of human-centered multimedia computing, haptic user interfaces, person-centered tools and ubiquitous computing technologies for enhancing the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, machine learning for multimedia applications, medical image processing, and media processor designs. Dr. Panchanathan has published more than 500 papers in refereed journals and conferences and has mentored nearly 150 graduate students, post-docs, research engineers and research scientists who occupy leading positions in academia and industry. He has been a chair of many conferences, a program committee member of numerous conferences, an organizer of special sessions in several conferences and an invited speaker and panel member in conferences, universities and industry symposiums.

Panchanathan holds a PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Ottawa in Canada; an MTech in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras; a BE in electronics and communication engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; and a BSc in physics from the University of Madras in India.